Last fall, the University's Women*s Center commissioned an art installation to adorn the popular Frist A Level dining area. On Sept. 27, during a Women*s Center event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the University’s first class of women, the design was debuted to the public.
Integrated into the architecture of Frist's A Level, the installation juxtaposes modern supergraphics with archival photos to comment on the history and future of women at the University. It works to highlight historic alumnae and female faculty and includes a timeline of notable dates for women's rights on campus.
The exhibit highlights notable alumnae and University faculty, such as Michelle Obama ’85, Elena Kagan ’81, the University’s first female president, Shirley Tilghman, and the first African-American female undergraduate student, Vera Marcus ’72.
The design is a product of Brooklyn-based design firm Isometric Studio, founded by two alumni, Andy Chen ’09 and Waqas Jawaid ’10. Chen and Jawaid spent six months developing the piece into its current form.
According to Chen, the design process relied heavily on consultations with students and faculty to discern their experiences surrounding feminism and gender identity. Isometric Studio worked with Women*s Center Director Amada Sandoval and Program Coordinator Anna Phung to compile the final list of photos from the Mudd Library.
According to Phung, within the context of the 50th anniversary of the first class of women at the University, the installation should invite a focused gaze on the future of women on campus.
“It is important to think about how we celebrate and honor all of the women who have made an impact, but also think about what this piece means for the next fifty years,” they said. “How do we continue to push, and really open up the definitions of feminism, womanhood, and gender in general?”
The designers said they wanted to emphasize the importance of diversity in their creation.
“We wanted to celebrate 50 years of undergraduate women at Princeton — both to acknowledge the struggle for specific kinds of equity and to gesture towards ways in which the contributions of women and gender non-binary people have made a significant and often unrecognized impact on Princeton’s history and identity,” Chen said.
The installation will have a closing ceremony hosted by the Women*s Center next semester.